**spoiler alert** While I wasn't anticipating a third installment in this series, I was very glad to see it amongst the new arrivals at the library! I...more**spoiler alert** While I wasn't anticipating a third installment in this series, I was very glad to see it amongst the new arrivals at the library! I didn't fully enjoy it quite as much as I did the first two, but I'm very glad that loose ends were tied up and I could see what happened to everyone that I had grown attached to in the series. I do have to say that it was strange that only five years had passed between the second and third books, as Julia seemed to have grown many more years in that time. She went from a teenager that didn't fully understand her place in life to someone who almost acted a bit too mature for her age - but I suppose raising her child and her young half-brother could easily do that to her. Nellie's passing was something I was hoping wouldn't be documented, as I love her so much that I wanted her to live forever, but at least it was peaceful and did come at a good time. I was disappointed that Daniel's reaction to learning that Parker was his biological father was never revealed, since the entire book was a buildup to that moment. That's all that truly disappointed me about this book, aside from Julia allowing herself to be walked all over by her fiance - but at least she remedied that. Quite a good book overall!(less)
I was thoroughly and completely disappointed with this book. I was truly hoping for a realistic account of what life would be like on a traditional Po...moreI was thoroughly and completely disappointed with this book. I was truly hoping for a realistic account of what life would be like on a traditional Polygamist compound, but instead, I was presented with a disgusting and obviously biased display of abuse and terror. This book shows an obvious extreme, just as there are families that abuse their children in other religions. Sadly, though, it is presented as if it is the solid truth of what all Polygamist lives are like. There is also no description about what the rest of their lives are like, as far as chores or family life goes. This makes it seem as if everyone lives a life of horror, constantly, with no break. Aside from my disgust in that, much of the book was formatted in a way that made it tough to follow along - the author would randomly skip to a memory and or two and back, and it takes a paragraph or two to realize it. I do not recommend this book to anyone, and definitely not if you're hoping to learn anything about what a Polygamist lifestyle is really like.(less)
**spoiler alert** Overall, I was quite pleased with this book. I'm completely new to learning about Muslim culture, so it may have been a good thing t...more**spoiler alert** Overall, I was quite pleased with this book. I'm completely new to learning about Muslim culture, so it may have been a good thing to begin with a young adult novel that focused a bit on teaching the basics. I was also pleased that it touched on other religions in the book as well, but that reached the level of being borderline after-school special - too much teaching, too much acceptance, too little realistic adversity.
There were a few things I wasn't too fond of in this book, like the way the main character was still so focused on impressing people with what could be seen of her looks. It could be argued that this is because she is still an average teenage girl, but it seemed hypocritical to worry about her eyeliner after speaking about being relieved that she didn't need to worry about guys judging her looks just before that. Other reviewers here at Goodreads said the writing seemed too Americanized for being set in Australia, and I agree. This was something I only noticed in the beginning of the book, for what it's worth.
One of my pet peeves was also used - describing eyebrow rings and other piercings "an earring in his eyebrow, and a stud earring in the cleft of his chin." Earrings are only earrings if they're in your ear. Anywhere else, it is not. It just seems like such a basic thing that people don't take the time to differentiate between.
I am indeed glad that I picked this book up, and am interested in learning more about Muslim culture because of it. My library has one other book by this author that I will not be reading, since the synopsis alone has warned me away from what I will likely find to be teenage whiny hypocrisy. I'm fine to stay happy with this and move on. (less)
**spoiler alert** I was very pleased with this book. It left no stones unturned, tied up all loose ends, and had an engaging storyline that I was eage...more**spoiler alert** I was very pleased with this book. It left no stones unturned, tied up all loose ends, and had an engaging storyline that I was eager to keep seeing more of. I must admit that I was a bit annoyed with Johnny coming back. He never gave Leah the apology or closure she deserved, especially for just leaving out of the blue. It was very bothersome. She deserved better than that. I'm just glad that she did, indeed, get better by the end of the book! My heart actually caught when she first said no to Daniel's proposal - but I'm so glad that it worked out correctly. I'm very happy with this author's writing, so I can't wait to read more in the future!(less)
I've just finished the first novella out of the three in this book, A Mirical for Miriam. I enjoyed that Miriam was a different type of character, sho...moreI've just finished the first novella out of the three in this book, A Mirical for Miriam. I enjoyed that Miriam was a different type of character, showing that insecurities about looks and glasses can still exist inside the Plain people, and that a boy can still change a young girl's perspective. I found it very realistic! What I didn't like is that they seemed to keep honing in on Miriam's looks - even to the point of people not denying it when she put herself down. Everyone has beauty, inside and out, if you only take the time to see it.
I'm excited to move on to the next novella today.
I've just finished A Choice to Forgive, the second novella in the book. It was fantastic. I really enjoyed the writing style! Now on to the last...(less)